Local Wire

Coolzey

It sounds strange to say, but the idea of a white dude from the Midwest starting a hip-hop label doesn't even seem that unique anymore. Ever since Atmosphere turned Rhymesayers Entertainment into an emo-rap empire and Insane Clown Posse built Psychopathic Records into a marketing juggernaut that Gene Simmons would envy, what was once a novelty now hardly raises eyebrows. The latest MC and would-be label mogul from America's heartland is Iowa City, Iowa's Coolzey, whose Public School Records imprint is, thankfully, more in the mold of Rhymesayers than Psychopathic. Coolzey's lyrics are what you might expect from an MC who grew up in rural Iowa — sometimes funny, sometimes corny tales of Coolzey's superiority on the mic, his distaste for sucka MCs, and his affinity for weed and psychedelics. With a diverse list of collaborators that includes Brand Nubian alum Sadat X and Iowa troubadour William Elliott Whitmore, Coolzey has already made an impression on fellow musicians with his homemade beats and lyrical dexterity. Whether that translates into success in the world of hip-hop (where inane, ringtone-ready, chant-along choruses are often valued more highly than actual mic skills) remains to be seen.
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Mike R. Meyer